Some bunads stories are just so amazing. Like this one. About a year ago when I still had Nordic Galleri a lady from Fergus Falls contacted me about a bunad she needed help finish. My sister is the bunad expert in my family and she was in town so I told the lady to stop in an she could take a look at it.
Im not sure I have the whole story correct, but Kathy told us about how her mother had traveled to Norway some forty years ago and purchased the fabric for a Romerike bunad. She brought it to America. Someone in the family were supposed to do the embroidery. But it turned out to be a lot more work than they had imagining and no one volunteered to finish it.
Just a few years ago, Kathys daughter went to Norway on a student exchange program. The family took the opportunity and sent the fabric with her, maybe she could find someone in Norway who were willing to finish it? She did not succeed and the bunad fabric traveled back to America for the second time…
Kathy never gave up wanting to finish it for her mother, and I believe she felt relief when Aina said that she would give it a go and work on it.
So the bunad went back to Norway the second time. Aina lives in Norway and are attending bunad seminars at the Rauland Academy in Telemark. She brougt the bunad there and got help and information about the embroidery.
Its a lot of work with all the embroidery, so by the time Aina and me were ready to come back to America after a year, the bunad were not completely done. She would have to finish it in Fergus Falls.
And then the bunad traveled back to America for the third time. Aina got some work done on it while on vacation in South Carolina, and the rest while staying in Fergus Falls at our dear friend Claudias house. She is the best who let us turn her kitchen into a bunad work shop for a few days.
After forty years and several trips across the Atlantic, the bunad was finally finished. It only need some clips, the belt, and the purse, and it is complete. I believe Kathy were very happy, it fits her very nice and will be worn by her mom and then later her daughter. The family has finally completed their precious Norwegian bunad, and they will cherish it for many years to come.
I feel very proud to have been a part of this, I did help with some of the sawing on the skirt. And I am as alway so impressed by the interests Norwegian Americans has in their heritage and history.